Hanley is one of six towns that were merged in 1910 to create Stoke-on-Trent and is generally considered to be the main shopping area of Stoke. Stoke-on-Trent was once a prolific mining town and is famously known as ‘The Potteries’ due to the many companies in the area producing ceramics from the mid-1700s until late 19th century when there was a considerable decline in the industry. The Waterstones here is located in The Tontines – built in 1831 as a butchers’ slaughterhouse, it later became a covered market and was used for this purpose until the market’s relocation in 1987.
One of the most famous residents of Hanley is the author, Arnold Bennett – I’ve read and enjoyed a few of his books. Born into a family of modest means, he worked as a journalist until 1900 when he became a full-time author. His most famous works feature the fictionalised Five Towns, and are based on this area (he missed out Fenton, the sixth town that was merged into Stoke). Bennett died aged 63 from Typhoid after drinking tap water in France, and is buried in Burslem, just two miles from where he was born. The statue below was unveiled in 2017 on what would have been Arnold Bennett’s 150th birthday.